Haramaki:essential kit in Summer

So running a business mainly selling core-warmers could be tricky in the summer – or so you would think! While we can’t really argue that when the weather goes about 20 degrees only those who really feel the cold need a haramaki for warmth – there are plenty of times when one is invaluable throughout the summer months….

  1. Protect yourself from air-conditioning – in offices and on planes. How many times have you got off a long plane journey and come down with a cold? or tried to sleep under the scratchy free blanket but not been able to because of the draft and cold? Put on your core-warmer and snuggle down to a good sleep and get off feeling refreshed.

2. Take your haramaki camping or to the beach and put it on as evening cools. Takes up little space but packs a big cosy punch. Really helps when sitting round a campfire when your front is toasty and your back is facing out into the cold evening.

3. Beach life! surfing, sea swimming, picnics etc – the Sea will cool you down however warm it is on land. The haramaki in the bag can make the difference between having to leg it home shivering or being able to sit out on the beach enjoying the post-dip glow!

4. British Weather – “There’s no such thing as bad weatheronly bad clothes”. In Swedish, it means “Go outside.” You can still wear your summer clothes when the temperature drops – just add a haramaki as an extra layer and enjoy the great outdoors – whatever the weather!

Take your haramaki with you on adventures

Ooh I love an ingenious packing tip. I also like to pack as light as possible. I am still grateful for whoever (Lonely Planet?) told me not to take a towel but a sarong when I went back-packing many eons ago – dries quicker (so smells fresher), doubles as a sheet when the accommodation seems slightly less than spotless and is almost weightless. Plus it makes a fabulous souvenir when you are home if you buy it when you get there. I found even more great reasons here!

There are some great tips here for example: “If you place your shoes inside a shower cap, it keeps your suitcase clean.” . I also love the idea of taking herbal teas “Not only can they help keep you hydrated, but flavours such as peppermint and ginger can aid with digestion – which is a great help for your body when you’ve been sat down for long hours. Herbal teas are also a cheap way to get a drink when you’re stuck in airport layovers. Avoid paying for coffee, which will make it harder for you to sleep. Instead ask the café just to give you a cup of hot water. Dunk in your herbal teabag and enjoy for free!” (Big World Small Pockets). I would take my own cup too for greater planet saving frugality.

There is something missing from all these lists  – the haramaki! lightweight and small, the haramaki can roll up tiny inside your handbag or hand luggage.  It takes up hardly any space but packs a big punch when you start to feel the air conditioning in the airport or the plane. Pull on your haramaki and have warmth right where you need it without bulky, uncomfortable layers. Great for budget backpackers to business travellers. Air conditioning can mess with your body temperature and weaken your defences when flying – wearing a haramaki core-warmer round your middle can really help. The image below shows how effective a haramaki belly-wrap can be .

Thermography A: Without Haramaki Thermography B: With Haramaki *Male age 25, data taken in an air-conditioned room set to 25°C. Data may vary according to individuals.

We would love to hear your travel tips and any on location photos with our haramaki would be FANTASTIC (and shared!) x

Keeping warm on snow days – cozy in a haramaki back warmer

Do you have a snow day today? The key to getting outdoors is the right gear. We even managed a sea swim (6 degrees) with the help of our hats, haramakis and thermals.

Cozy with a fire, tea and a haramaki (with a hot water bottle shoved down the back) we can crack on and go through finances, stock take and planning for the future. With a little help from Gary 😉

Photo credit Ruthie Delfruity

Cold Water Swimming Hack

Discovered a few weeks ago when we had a river swim….

I took an isothermal bottle  full of boiling water, my daughters mini hot water bottle and two haramakis – one cotton for next to the skin and an ultra-warm angora core-warmer. Once out of the water and dressed (and while my fingers still worked) I filled the hot water bottle with the boiling water and popped the hot water bottle in my roo pouch of haramakis. Combined with my robe I built up a nice warm core radiating heat.  Added tea and amazing marmalade cakes and I was a very happy post-swim seabird! Been doing it ever since to beat the after-drop….

NukuNuku on tour – or how to plan your holidays around swim spots

“Imagine a summer spent swimming in mountain waterfalls, exploring lost ruins and caverns, and camping in ancient forests.” Wild Guide – Lake District and Yorkshire Dales: Hidden Places and Great Adventures

Inspired by the above and the heat of early summer this year I planned our family holiday around my new love, wild swimming. I found two amazing resources – the Wild Swim Map.  This is a website where you can search for swim spots wherever you are heading and read other swimmers’ reviews and notes. I also bought one of the  Wild Guide series for the Yorkshire Dales. This not only features swim spots but covers other ‘wild’ aspects wherever you are going – forests, ancients spots, walks etc.

None of us like a long journey without a stopover – so I used the amazing resource that is the Wild Swim map to find a swim along our route – Port Meadow on the Thames. I wanted somewhere halfway (ish) between home and final destination. We took a picnic from Brighton, drove up, parked in the car park and ate in the car because it was pouring with rain. Of course. The braver (less grumpy) 3 of us then went investigating up river, guide book in hand. Argued over whether this was ‘the spot’,  looked round and felt slightly shy as  dog walkers were the only others around. Our inner Seabird kicked in then and we thought ‘sod it’, whipped off our clothes and jumped in with the ducks. Weedy green water caused squeals when legs became entangled in it, ducks and swans and anglers only a little further off. We felt slightly self conscious before getting in but the minute we were in we didn’t care and felt adventurous (or a bit naughty).

It was the perfect stopover when heading North – just off the M40. Rope swing nearer the bridge that even the older two would play on – smallest one ending up soaked to the waist and doing the rest of the journey wrapped in a towel. Then onwards and Northwards….

Masons Campsite is right next to the river Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales near the village of Appletreewick. The river is at the bottom of the small campsite and has 2 great rope swings where the kids line up and swing out over the river endlessly or spin each other into dizziness and the thrill of nearly falling in.

10 minutes down river from the campsite, after a bit of hesitation and doubt, we found the spot that matched the picture in the book. Despite the glorious sunshine nobody else was in there. Whipped off our clothes again (becoming a theme) while bemused dog walkers looked on and slid in tentatively. Much much colder than the sea in Brighton, peaty tasting brown water, soft and silky. Fantastic. Numb feet like November in Brighton in just a few minutes. Slimy, weed covered stones under foot and bum. Surrounded by stunning scenery. All to ourselves.

We spent the holiday using the Wild Guide as our bible and it kept us outside, off screens and well fed with great pub grub suggestions. Fantastic. Highly recommend. Take your haramaki with you and keep those kidneys warm. Keep tuned for the next wild swim spot recommendation coming soon…